Date of Award

Summer 8-2018

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

William Meil

Second Advisor

David Laporte

Third Advisor

Margaret Reardon

Abstract

Alcohol use is a major problem in college populations. Executive functioning (EF) problems are predictive of and predicted by alcohol-related problems; however, traditional performance-based measures of executive function (EF) may not accurately reflect individuals’ every day functioning. The purpose of this study was to develop an ecologically valid EF task specifically for college students, The College Registration Executive Function Task (CREFT), and to assess its relationship to existing EF measures, as well as its ability to predict alcohol-use and alcohol-related outcomes. CREFT performance was associated with performance on the Tower of London, as well as subscales on self-report measures, including UPPS-P Positive Urgency and BRIEF-A Organization of Materials. Hierarchical regressions indicated that CREFT performance was significantly predictive of binge drinking frequency and added significant predictive value to a model including demographic information, traditional performance-based tasks, and self-report measures such as the BRIEF-A and UPPS-P. Sensation seeking behavior emerged as a significant predictor of each alcohol outcome, including typical drinking rates, binge drinking frequency, alcohol-related problems, and symptoms of alcohol use disorder.

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